Books That Will Make You a Better Gambler

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BetMGM Oct 30, 2023, 1:50 PM

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced gambler, brushing up on your strategy for online casino games is always helpful. There are plenty of different ways to boost your skills, no matter what your game of choice. You could hire a coach, join and take part in online forums and social media groups, practice with other gambling friends and family, invest in an online course, or – arguably one of the easiest and most affordable ways to hone your strategy – you could read a few well-written gambling books. 

Fortunately, there’s a multitude of books about gambling available on the market that can help. When looking for the best gambling books to enhance your casino skills, you should consider which casino games you prefer to play and which strategies you would like to try or improve. Are you looking to rule the blackjack table, dominate casino dice games or figure out the best online slots? Or are you simply trying to learn casino game lingo? Whatever your favorite game, there is a book to help you graduate to the next level. 

Here is a list of tried and trusted gambling books to help get you started. 

General Gambling Books

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One thing’s for sure: you’ll need more than luck to succeed at gambling. A well-written book on gambling can teach essential skills and inspire you to play like an expert. 

Scarne’s New Complete Guide to Gambling by John Scarne

John Scarne is regarded as one of the most authoritative gambling experts. However (and to the surprise of many,) he does not indulge in gambling himself. Scarne is known not as a card player but as the greatest card manipulator of all time. While mastering his profound magic tricks, he learned about and became an expert in card games. In this book, Scarne provides detailed information on methods of play, strategy and rules in all casino games of chance. He also explains odds, house percentages and sleight-of-hand tricks. Looking for sports gambling books in particular? Sports bettors will also find helpful information in this gambling book as Scarne reviews and analyzes various betting strategies.

Gambling 102: The Best Strategies for all Casino Games by M. Shackleford

Gambling 102 gives you great insight into the mathematics involved in casino games. This book about gambling is the product of years of mathematical analysis, computer modeling and actual casino play. The chapters are easy to follow as they present basic strategies for the games, which are based on the calculations that have been carried out.

Beating the Casinos at Their Own Game by Peter Svoboda

Written with new gamblers in mind, Beating the Casinos at Their Own Game highlights the casino world, major casino games and how to play them skillfully. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to read up on gambling before heading to the casino or playing online casino games. Notably, it’s a beautifully designed book that would make an excellent gift for someone interested in the casino industry.

Roll The Bones by David G. Schwartz

The author of Roll The Bones, David G. Schwartz, is also the director of UC Las Vegas’ Center for Game Science. In his book, he discusses his in-depth research into the origins of some of the world’s most popular casino games as well as some of the strangest. He looks at the history of our favorite games and reveals a few stories from some of the world’s greatest gamblers – like how writer Frances Voltaire discovered a way to win $9 million in the 18th century. It’s a well-thought-out book that is incredibly interesting to all those who are passionate about gambling.


Some of the most interesting gambling books are those based on the lives of the world’s best players. There’s so much to learn from these professionals about gambling, life and many other things that you probably wouldn’t expect.

A Man for All Markets by Edward E. Thorp

Edward E. Thorp was an incredible mathematician who transformed the way in which gambling was taught. He’s widely regarded as the first person to prove that blackjack could be beaten through card counting. A Man for All Markets is based on the true story of how the rules of casinos and card games were changed to thwart his new way of winning and how this pushed him to turn on the “biggest casino in the world” – Wall Street. He shows us how he devised and deployed his mathematical formulas to beat the market.

This is a book filled with practical lessons and curious insights from a man who learned to think practically about how to thrive in what is often an impractical world.

All Bets Are Off by Arnie & Sheila Wexler

This is a cautionary tale based on the true story of gambling addiction experienced by Arnie Wexler, who started playing games on the streets of New York at the age of 14. He gradually became addicted, chasing the next big win (and the exhilaration that accompanied it) to the point where gambling affected his whole life. Wexler’s story is often dark and uncomfortable, yet moving in depicting his courage and perseverance in freeing himself from a debilitating addiction.

Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything by Kevin Cook

This book takes you on a journey into the life of “Titanic Thompson,” one of America’s most legendary gamblers. His real name was Alvin Clarence Thomas and he was a formidable gambler who earned his nickname in the 1920s and 1930s simply because he could “sink” anyone who dared to take him on. 

In this critically-acclaimed page-turner, you’ll delve deeper into Titanic Thompson’s early years and learn how he taught himself the art of gambling (from shuffling to counting cards) despite being almost completely illiterate. You’ll also read about how he swindled some of America’s best-known characters, including Al Capone, and got involved in some extremely shady dealings. A riveting tale for anyone who loves gambling!

Books about Slots

Blurred image of slot machine in casino with neon lightingRead about the strategies that the pros use, how to spot the best slots and gain knowledge on the background of slot machines while you’re at it. If you love the thrill and sound of spinning the reels, you’ll appreciate the books that shed light on everything to do with slot machines.

Powerful Profits from Slots by Victor H. Royer

The slot machines of today have become computerized and rather high-tech. And once you understand the mechanics of modern-day slots, you can learn how to make them work for you. Powerful Profits from Slots will teach you why some slots pay more, the best way to measure your win potential and how to set loss and win limits. 

Secrets of Winning Slots by Avery Cardoza

Avery Cardoza is a professional gambler and author who provides information about the various slot machines and the best ways to beat their odds. In Secrets of Winning Slots, you’ll learn more than 20 real strategies, including how to increase your chances of winning big jackpots, machines to avoid, how to find high percentage machines and so much more. 

How to Win Millions Playing Slot Machines by Frank Legato

Are you looking for secret strategies that will maximize your winning potential? How to Win Millions Playing Slot Machines will teach you about slot machine strategies, myths and facts. You can also learn which machines pay back the most money and the most frequently. This book adds humor to a wide variety of topics, making it an easy and fun read.

Books about blackjack


Closeup of a dealer putting down a card on a blackjack tableBlackjack is one of the top choices for players at online and brick-and-mortar casinos. Great books are available to help you learn blackjack strategies. Here are our suggestions.

Beat The Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One by Edward O. Thorp

Edward O. Thorp is considered the “father of card counting,” so it’s no surprise that his strategies have stood the test of time. This book provides some of the best and simplest ways of how and why card counting works. Beat the Dealer was the first book to use mathematics to prove that players could use card counting to overturn the house edge in blackjack. Many amateur and professional players consider it an important book to read so you can build a thorough blackjack strategy. Additionally, the book contains charts that you can use for in-casino blackjack and blackjack at an online casino.

Burning the Tables in Las Vegas by Ian Andersen

This classic book discusses casino behavior and every detail of blackjack that you can apply at the table. Burning the Tables covers all the basics: choosing the game variant, preventing stress and anger from influencing your gameplay and how to perfect your skills and manners at the casino.

Play Blackjack Like the Pros by Kevin Blackwood

This is the beginner’s guide to blackjack and card counting. Kevin Blackwood delivers a thorough guide that is both clear and entertaining. He finds a brilliant way to uncomplicate blackjack strategies and help you understand the fundamentals of the game. Blackwood begins by explaining how blackjack works, applying basic strategies to reduce the edge, then details how to count cards (just remember that, while it isn’t against the law, the practice isn’t allowed in the majority of casinos in the US and around the globe.)

Books on Poker

Close up of woman’s hand pushing playing cards forward on a table surrounded casino chips
On the hunt for books on online gambling and how to dominate at the poker table? Maybe it’s Texas Hold’em books that you’re after? Whether you play online or in a traditional casino setting, there’s no doubt that poker books are a great way to improve your game. If you’re looking to up your game at the poker table, here are some of the best books to get better results and improve your confidence.

The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky

The Theory of Poker is generally accepted as the best poker book of all time. Penned by revered poker pro and author David Sklansky, it took over 30 years to complete and is packed with concepts and theories to help take your poker game to new levels. Its most famous theory, the Fundamental Theorem of Poker, is still relevant today, employed by many of the gambling industry’s most legendary professionals. Ultimately, if you’re looking to gain more confidence when it comes to making well-calculated decisions at the felt (or online,) this book is for you. 

Super System 2: A Course in Power Poker by Doyle Brunson

Arguably one of the most anticipated books in the history of poker, Super System 2 discusses the most influential poker players, world champions and theorists. The book expands on the original book by adding more games, new authors and professional secrets from the best in the poker industry. If you aim to master your online poker strategy, this book is a fantastic springboard to get you started. 

The Biggest Game in Town by Al Álvarez

Outside of those who favor The Theory of Poker, many poker players and critics have said that The Biggest Game in Town is the best book ever written on poker. In this masterpiece, Álvarez explores the seedy, obsessive world of high-stakes poker in Las Vegas. Through the book, you can experience the exotic underworld of the Vegas strip, abundant with all its eccentricity. The Biggest Game in Town also offers insight into the psychology of gamblers. It was the first book to explore professional poker players’ personal experiences. If you’re looking to get lost in poker literature, get started with this sought-after classic!

The Mental Game of Poker: Proven Strategies for Improving Tilt Control, Confidence, Motivation, Coping with Variance and More by Jared Tendler

Jared Tendler is a well-established mental game coach and his clients include world-champion poker players. This book has received numerous great reviews – for good reason. The lessons start from the tongue-in-cheek title itself: it’s deliberately complicated, which hints at the mental complexity of poker while warning you that it’s easy to get muddled in the details. In this book, he offers simple step-by-step instructions and proven techniques to fix problems like tilt, handling variance, emotional control, fear, confidence and motivation. You can adapt the techniques he provides in various other areas of your life as well.

Play Online Casino Games at Betmgm

These incredible and insightful books about gambling will set you on a journey of epic casino game strategies. Of course, after reading through them, you’ll want to put your newfound knowledge to the test! BetMGM has a wide range of games for you to choose from, including live baccarat, live dealer casino games, online slots and many other casino table games

Register to join our trusted and licensed casino and start playing your favorite casino games!

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.